Searching for music is one thing, but have you ever wanted to search for an artist and play their songs without needing to visit other sites? If so, Yahoo and Rhapsody have launched a new service that will let you do just that.
Staring today, users who search for an artist on Yahoo Search will be able to play the artist’s songs in the search results, thanks to a shortcut sitting at the top of the page. Even better, the songs will be played in their entirety through Rhapsody’s FoxyTunes Player. According to Yahoo, the new feature is just another elemt of its “play the Web” strategy and its desire to open its site for outside content and services.
Yahoo said that about 5 million tracks are currently supported, but there’s just one catch: the partnership with Rhapsody only allows users to listen to 25 free full-length tracks every 30 days. Once that limit is reached, users have the option of subscribing to Rhapsody Unlimited for $12.99 per month or continue to listen to an unlimited number of 30-second samples until the next month begins.
When the user searches for a song, the artist’s picture is displayed along with music videos and tracks. Once they pick which song they want to listen to, the FoxyTunes Player launches near the bottom of the window. The player displays artist, track, and album information, along with a Yahoo search link to find the song’s music video. Song playback doesn’t stop users from scrolling through the results, but once they input another search query, playback stops.
All in all, the service works well. I searched for a slew of songs and Yahoo found them with ease. Even better, it doesn’t count a “listen” until you play the song for one minute, so if you’re not sure whether you like a song or not, you have up to a minute to figure it out.
More importantly though, this move puts Google and Microsoft on notice. Now that song playback is available in Yahoo Search results, you can bet that both companies are looking for ways to catch up right this moment. And considering companies like MySpace and others are getting into the streaming music business, they better move fast to gain a foothold as the trend picks up steam.